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Irish Tech Company First to Market with Social Distancing and COVID-19 Compliance App for Hospitality and Leisure Sectors-

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A tech duo from Waterford has launched a GPS-based app that will allow pubs, restaurants, gyms and other social and recreational outlets to open and do business in the new COVID-19 era.

The innovative technology, which is the first of its kind in the Irish marketplace, allows business owners to easily document and broadcast their venues’ compliance standards and the availability of space on their premises, to their customer base. This, in turn, equips patrons with the knowledge they need to make informed, real-time decisions around where they can go to socialise safely.

In its first week, 200 businesses signed up to arrange a demo of the software, and it is expected that take-up of Ordee is likely to soar in the coming months, as Ireland gears up for a phased reopening.

Speaking of the new product, Ordee Co-founder Anthony Cronin,

Publicans, restaurateurs and so many other business owners throughout the country are chomping at the bit to get back to work, but they are struggling to see how they can maintain compliance standards and still operate their business while keeping costs down. With Ordee we have basically taken these key obstacles that businesses are facing, developed solutions to address them, and centralised the solutions in one easy to use app. It’s critical that venues can re-engage with their customer base – and Ordee will allow them to do this efficiently, cost-effectively and safely”.

Mr. Cronin went on to outline how the app also addresses concerns from a consumer perspective,

When the time comes, people will be itching to get out and socialise again – but there is a consistent air of concern amongst the public as to how they can do this safely. People are cognisant of the fact that they don’t want their behaviour, or the behaviour of others, to put themselves or others in jeopardy. The Ordee app is designed to go some way to alleviating these concerns”.

“Ordee” allows publicans, restauranteurs and other service providers and retailers to put their energy into their core business while ensuring that their venue is compliant with “Return to Work Safely Guidelines”.

So How Does Ordee Work?

  • The business signs up to the program and is then listed as a venue on the app and shown on the live map to users. Businesses can segregate online bookings for space and for walk-ins
  • The user downloads the app and can check a list of venues in real-time to see which venues currently have available space. They can book based on availability and join a queue
  • Once the user chooses a venue and arrives at the location, they receive a notification to confirm they are there and how many people are in their party, in which case the app will update the venue’s status accordingly. If the patron him/herself does not have the app on their person, then the venue itself can “clock a person/ persons in” manually through the admin section of the programme
  • The user can also use the app to order and pay for drinks, food etc.

Financial Support

Developers at Ordee say that because the app is deemed an eCommerce solution, businesses that want to sign up might be able to avail of the LEO Trading Online Voucher to do so – provided they meet the criteria.

Mr. Cronin commented,

Cashflow is tight, to say the least, for most businesses at the moment and compliance with COVID-protocols is going to incur additional costs. To offset these, the Government have put in place supports – one of which is the Local Enterprise Trading Online grant and businesses can use it to sign up for Ordee.  If your application is accepted, LEO will fund 90% of the cost of the Platform for your business. There are a few T&C’s but the process is very simple and effective”.

Since launching last week, there have been almost 200 businesses nationwide that have requested demonstrations.

Mr. Cronin concluded,

Interest has been huge. Even more, than we envisaged. Our team are working round the clock to ensure that we get to everyone who has requested a demo as quickly as possible”.

 

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NSA warns of ongoing Russian hacking campaign against U.S. systems- Technology News, Firstpost

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 NSA warns of ongoing Russian hacking campaign against U.S. systems

By Christopher Bing

(Reuters) – The U.S. National Security Agency on Thursday warned government partners and private companies about a Russian hacking operation that uses a special intrusion technique to target operating systems often used by industrial firms to manage computer infrastructure.

“This is a vulnerability that is being actively exploited, that’s why we’re bringing this notification out,” said Doug Cress, chief of the cybersecurity collaboration center and directorate at NSA. “We really want… the broader cybersecurity community to take this seriously.”

The notice is part of a series of public reports by the spy agency, which is responsible for both collecting foreign intelligence and protecting Defense Department systems at home, to share actionable cyber defense information.

Cress declined to discuss which business sectors had been most affected, how many organizations were compromised using the Russian technique, or whether the cyber espionage operation targeted a specific geographic region.

The NSA said the hacking activity was tied directly to a specific unit within Russia’s Main Intelligence Directorate, also known as the GRU, named the Main Center for Special Technologies. The cybersecurity research community refers to this same hacking group as “Sandworm,” and has previously connected it to disruptive cyberattacks against Ukrainian electric production facilities.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also called out the same GRU unit in February for conducting a cyberattack against the country of Georgia.

A security alert published by the NSA on Thursday explains how hackers with GRU, Russia’s military intelligence, are leveraging a software vulnerability in Exim, a mail transfer agent common on Unix-based operating systems, such as Linux. The vulnerability was patched last year, but some users have not updated their systems to close the security gap.

“Being able to gain root access to a bridge point into a network gives you so much ability and capability to read email, to navigate across and maneuver through the network,” said Cress, “so it’s more about the danger we’re trying to help people understand.”

(Reporting by Christopher Bing; Editing by Dan Grebler)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

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How countries are fighting against COVID-19 using technology?

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covid-19, coronavirus, coronavirus apps, aarogya setu, latest tech news
Image Source : DEVESH ARORA

Aarogya Setu app now has over 11 crore users.

Coronavirus is continuing its spread across the world, with more than three million confirmed cases in 185 countries. More than 200,000 people have lost their lives. Some countries, like South Korea and Singapore, have done a better job than, say, Italy and Spain. Asian countries have used a range of technologies in their fight against the pandemic.

Digital technology has been widely used to help limit the spread of coronavirus. During the COVID-19 pandemic, technologies are playing a crucial role in keeping our society functional in a time of lockdowns and quarantines. And these technologies may have a long-lasting impact beyond COVID-19.

Here is the list of technologies that different countries are using to fight coronavirus pandemic.

Aarogya Setu app

The Indian government has launched a smartphone app called AarogyaSetu to help track coronavirus patients and the people they come in contact with. Available in 11 languages, the app was launched on both Andriod and iOS. It uses Bluetooth technology to allow people to check whether there is a coronavirus case in their vicinity.

A Gurgaon based startup, Staqu, recently announced an array of offerings to facilitate superior COVID-19 response. The brand is leveraging its proprietary video analytics platform JARVIS to roll out cutting-edge use-cases aimed at identifying, tracing, and curbing the spread of COVID-19 and similar contagion. 

COVIDSafe App

As the number of coronavirus infections increases across the world, Australia has launched an app for tracing those who have come in contact with confirmed patients. This comes amid concerns that such smartphone apps may infringe upon citizens’ privacy. Using a Bluetooth wireless signal, the COVIDSafe app allows health officials to access crucial information about a person’s interactions if they contract the virus. All mobile phone numbers within a 1.5-meter range of the infected person — for 15 minutes or more — will be stored.

QR Codes

Health apps have been a crucial element of China’s race to prevent a second wave of COVID-19 infections. Users scan QR codes to share information about their health status and travel history. These codes need to be scanned before boarding buses and trains or entering airports, offices and even their own housing complexes. Different colors on the apps indicate different levels of risk, with green codes granted unrestricted movement,  yellow codes for seven days of quarantine, and red codes for those who required 14 days of quarantine. The apps can trace whether users have been in contact with infected people.

Italy’s app

As Italy mulls measures for a gradual lifting of its coronavirus lockdown, the country is working on an app that would trace people who have come in contact with a confirmed case. Acknowledging concerns over privacy and data control, innovation minister Paola Pisano said it would help in bringing the country back towards relative normalcy. A fast tender was launched for the app — to cover monitoring and medical support — towards the end of March, receiving hundreds of proposals that are currently being assessed. The app would work on a voluntary basis and have a clearly defined objective.

COVID-19 Smart Management System

South Korea was one of the first countries to experience a coronavirus outbreak and used massive testing and technology to emerge as a case study for controlling the number of cases nationwide. South Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) runs COVID-19 Smart Management System (SMS), a contact tracing system that runs through smartphone apps and helps the authorities analyze the movement of affected patients and those in quarantine. 

The country will also begin strapping electronic wristbands on those who ignore home-quarantine orders. A refusal to use the band would result in the person being moved to a shelter, which they will have to pay for themselves.

Other COVID-19 Tracing apps

After pushing for a home-grown alternative, Germany has changed tracks to back an approach supported by US tech giants Apple and Google. The German-led alternative was called Pan-European Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracing (PEPP-PT), with the country’s Fraunhofer HHI research institute and the Robert Koch Institute public health body as key players. It received criticism over a central database. It has now chosen to support Apple and Google’s approach, with decentralized software architecture. The data, in this case, will be stored on users’ phones.

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Facebook launches new music-making app to take on TikTok – Latest News

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NEW DELHI: Social networking giant Facebook has introduced a new app that will give competition to the popular video-sharing app TikTok. The experimental app division of Facebook and created a new app called Collab. The app is presently available in beta only for iOS users and the app brings together creators and fans to create, watch, and mix and match original videos, starting with music.

In an official post the company said, “With Collab, we’re leveraging technology to help people unlock creative superpowers by collaborating on original music videos from anywhere.”

With this new app, user can create short videos split into three that are playing in sync. With the app, you can create your own arrangement by adding in your own recording or by swiping and discovering an arrangement to complete your composition. You don’t require any musical experience to use the app or to create a video.

Once you have created a video using Collab, then you can publish it for others to watch and mix and match further. You can also share yours or others’ creations to Instagram, Facebook Stories, or any other platform.

Recently, the same division at Facebook launched a group calling app called CatchUp. The company is testing the app in the US and it is available to a limited number of iOS and Android users. The new group calling app allows users to engage in the group calling with up to 8 members. Those who’d be available to talk will be clubbed together under a “ready to talk” section with an option to ‘Join’ the call.

A report by TechCrunch reveals that the app shows who all are available to talk on the basis of a user’s contact list and doesn’t require anyone to have a Facebook account.



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